Search Engine KeywordsKeyword research is an extremely important part of the SEO Process.

To help you attract prospective customers to your site that are actively searching for your products or services, it’s important to make sure that your website is targeting the most relevant keywords. Selecting the correct type of search term is essential to generating a constant flow of targeted traffic, which can more easily be converted into valued clients. Making use of long tail keywords provides a powerful strategy for targeting potential buyers, especially if you are operating in a really competitive and saturated market sector. Long tail keywords are proven to rank a web site much more highly within the search engine ranking results, compared with more competitive and shorter keyword search terms.

Visitors utilising long tail keywords are more inclined to purchase from you

Keyword Research demonstrates that those who search the online market place by means of multi keyword search phrases are more likely to buy from the websites that they visit. Multi keyword search terms also tend to rank far more quickly in Google and other major search engines. These types of search phrases tend to comprise of three to four search terms that will be specific to the products or services that your website is marketing. These kinds of search terms are considerably more likely to generate product sales when compared with shorter keyword search terms. Long tail keyword searches are more targeted towards sales and making a purchase, whereas shorter keyword phrases are usually focused on end user research, prior to making a purchase.

Keyword research is extremely important in deciding on the most effective long tail keywords to use on your site. For instance, the search term “music” is extremely competitive and very generic, compared to using more targeted, multi word search terms that will generate potential visitors, who are seeking exactly what your website is offering. There is no point competing with big businesses over a generic keyword phrase such as “music”, when it’s possible to focus on more precise long tail keywords, that are designed to appeal to potential buyers, that will be willing to spend money with you.

Keyword research is an important aspect of the search engine optimisation process

Keyword research is very important for the success of your web page optimisation strategy. Choosing the most appropriate Website Keywords will create the maximum volume of targeted visitors to your site and will help to improve your position in the search engine ranking results. Selecting less relevant search terms, which are not as highly targeted towards your products or services, will result in a much lower customer conversion ratio.

Investing time in keyword research enables you to understand the relevant long tail keywords that your potential customers are utilising and will provide you with the greatest amount of targeted on-line traffic.

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Did you know that it is now possible to link your Google Analytics account to your Google Webmaster Tools account?

Google-Analytics-LogoGoogle have recently launched this really useful feature that will enable users to access their Analytics account profiles from within their Webmaster account. Additionally, users can also view their “Referring Pages” analytics report, from within their Google Webmaster Tools Account. This information can be accessed via the “Links To Your Site” page and provides a clearer picture of your overall traffic volume. Users can also access their Google Analytics Dashboard directly from within their Webmaster account.

If you are not familiar with Google Webmaster Tools, please review the following blog post “Using Google Webmaster Tools To Improve Your Search Engine Optimisation Results“. This will explain the benefits of the various tools available to you and provides a link to the Webmaster account page, where you can sign up for a free account.

This is how to link your Google Analytics account to your Google Webmaster Tools account:

  • After logging in to your Webmaster account, click on the Manage option for a particular site and then click on Google Analytics profile.
  • Select the analytics profile you wish to associate with your site and save.

Click Here for more information on how to link your Google Analytics account to your Google Webmaster Tools account.

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By registering your website with Google Webmaster Tools you will obtain useful information on how Google perceives your website. You will be able to identify any potential problems with your sites navigation and overall design structure. This will enable you to make appropriate changes to your website, in order to improve your search engine optimisation results. Google provide their Google Webmaster Tools for free, you simply need to sign up and follow the verification process.

Once your website has started to generate a certain amount of data you will be able to analyse a wide range of statistics and information relating to your sites performance. By utilising this data you will be able to finely tune your website and increase your chances of achieving higher search engine ranking results.

The following are my top 5 essential settings, which you should pay particular attention to.

Upload a Google XML Sitemap to your server

This will help to ensure that Google indexes all of the individual pages of your website; this can be found under Site Configuration/Sitemaps.

Uploading an XML Sitemap will provide Google with a detailed map of your website, which will help them to crawl all of your web pages. This is especially important for bigger websites that have a large number of brand and product pages and is an established Search Engine Optimisation practice.

Set Your Geographic Target

This will help to improve your local search engine ranking results and can be found under Site Configuration/Settings.

Setting your geographic target will help Google to understand the particular country or region you are targeting. This is a very important setting, so please ensure that it is correct for your website.

Review Google’s HTML suggestions

Rectifying any HTML suggestions highlighted by Google will help to improve your position in the search engine listings and can be found under Diagnostics/HTML Suggestions

Google’s HTML suggestions will include any issues that they have found when they were crawling your website. These may includes duplicate or missing Meta Tag information as well as any problems encountered when attempting to index your content.

Review Your Sitelinks

This will help to improve the click through rates to your core pages and can be found under Site Configuration/Sitelinks

Sitelinks are links to a website’s internal pages that may be listed in the search results. Google automatically generates these links for some websites, however these can be modified using the webmaster tools.

Monitor Your Web Page Loading Times

The speed of your web page loading times will help to improve both your search engine ranking results and customer satisfaction. This data can be found under Labs/Site Performance

Google now uses your web page loading speed as one of their many ranking factors, it is therefore important to ensure that your web pages are loading as fast as possible.

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WWW-imageI think that the majority of Search Engine Optimisation Experts would agree that the age of your domain name does play some part in helping your ranking results on Google and other search engines. However, opinions do vary on the extent of its impact. For example, many SEO professionals believe that Google will not rank newly registered domain names for at least six months or more!

In order to address this issue, Google has released a video to explain the impact of the age of your domain name on your ranking results.

In the video Matt explains that Google uses data like the first crawl date and first link discovery date to determine the age of a domain. He also explains that purchasing an existing, established domain name will not necessarily help to improve your rankings.

The main difference between a domain name that is six months old compared to a one year old domain is not really that significant. Provided that your domain name is at least a couple of months old, it should show up in our search results.

While this may be true, it is important to note that older domains will have many advantages that will help them to rank more highly than a brand new domain name.

  • Many older domains tend to be well established sites containing a lot of content that has been developed over time.
  • Older domains will have the benefit of having acquired a huge amount of back links, built up over many years.
  • These valuable back links are likely to have been in place for several years which gives them more weight.

In my opinion, it is not worthwhile investing huge amounts of money on purchasing an existing, established domain name, purely for SEO Benefits. The age of your domain name is only one of over a hundred individual ranking factors, which play a part in determining your overall position in the search engine listings. If you are serious about building a strong online business, you may as well start with a brand new domain name and focus on developing your content and securing as many relevant back links to your site as possible.

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Getonfast Website Design ServiceIf your website does not appear trustworthy, you are unlikely to secure many sales, even if your website enjoys high volume traffic. Although a high quality, professionally designed website, together with a secure and easy to use online order process are extremely important, there are a number of additional things that you need to get right, in order to convince your potential customers that they can trust you.

1. Make sure your company address and contact telephone number is prominently displayed on all pages of your website

I am constantly amazed at how many websites do not display their company address and telephone number on their website. This creates the impression of a faceless organisation, that is likely to offer poor customer service and will be difficult to contact, if something goes wrong with the product you wish to purchase.

Additionally an awful lot of websites only advertise a mobile telephone number as their primary point of contact. Again, this can create the impression of an unprofessional company that may not be trustworthy. For home based companies that do not wish to advertise their personal landline number, a more practical solution would be to use a free virtual telephone service, such as Phone Call Manager.

If your customers do not know who you are, where you are based and how to contact you by telephone, they may refrain from doing business with you.

On our own website our address and telephone number is displayed at the bottom of every web page. If you’re serious about your online business you need to show your visitors that you have nothing to hide and display your full contact information on your website.

2. Publish your privacy policy on your website

Potential customers are sometimes wary of providing email addresses due to concerns about privacy. Publishing your privacy policy on your site provides extra confidence for your customers that their personal details will be handled in a professional manner and will help to boost the integrity of your brand. Again on our own website we have published a link on every page to our Privacy Policy page.

3. Have other customers tested your products and services?

If other customers have tested your products and services then it is less risky for new customers to buy from you. Your website visitors need to be reassured that you are a serious business. If your current customers have something positive to say about your products or services, list these testimonials on your website.

In order to be successful online it is vitally important to establish your brand integrity and develop a trustworthy website. Show your visitors that your business is real and that they can trust you.

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In addition to the two major Pay Per Click Advertising platforms, Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter, Facebook should also be considered as an alternative source of advertising.

Facebook advertising offers a number of different options for potential advertisers. Ads can be purchased on either a Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) basis and advertisers are able to set a maximum daily budget limit for each campaign.

Include images with your Facebook ads

An ad on Facebook can have an Ad Title up to a maximum of 25 characters, An Ad Description up to a maximum of 135 characters and you can also upload an image, to be displayed in your ad.

Facebook will automatically calculate a recommended CPC or CPM bid price, based upon an analysis of current winning bids. Your Facebook advertising campaign can be set up to be displayed to a specific audience, based upon their profile information and your target demographic requirements.

Advertise to over 500 million potential customers

It should be noted that the visitor intention of the average Facebook user is totally different from search engine users and therefore, the results of your Facebook advertising campaign will be totally different from the results achieved from traditional search engine advertising campaigns. However, since Facebook has an extremely large user base, in excess of 500 million potential customers, running a Facebook advertising campaign can serve as an effective medium to increase your online brand visibility and sales.

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Getonfast SEO PackagesGoogle has recently launched Place Search and updated the way their local search results are displayed on the main web results page. As an example, try a local search for “carpet cleaning manchester” and you will see how the new layout is now displayed.

According to Google “Today we’re introducing Place Search, a new kind of local search result that organizes the world’s information around places. We’ve clustered search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go.”

The original style of presentation for local searches, which consisted of a small map and a number of local listings positioned to the right of the map image, has now gone. The map has now been moved to the right hand side of the page, above the Adwords paid advertising and floats down the page, as users scroll down. Surprisingly, as you scroll down the page, the Adwords paid advertising disappears behind the map image, which always stays in view.

Established organic listings now pushed further down the page

In most cases the local searchresults are displayed at the top of the main page, below the top Adwords Listings. This results in the main organic listings being automatically pushed further down the page! Our tests have shown that sometimes a limited number of organic listings may appear at the top of the page, before the local search listings, but this does not happen very often.

The new Place Search results now display the physical address and telephone number for each company, together with links to their Google Places profile page and any customer reviews. We have also noticed that links to some third party sites, referencing or having user reviews, about a particular website, are sometimes displayed below the main local listing. Place Search becomes active automatically, when Google’s algorithm detects that a user is searching for local information. Google’s database will then group and list the corresponding local information on the search result page. This represents a major shift by Google towards placing a greater emphasis on local search results with a richer and more informative presentation.

So, what does the new Google Place Search mean for your business?

Well, if you are a Google Adwords advertiser I imagine that you are not going to be impressed with the way your paid for advertising rapidly disappears, as the user scrolls down the page!

I imagine that businesses are also not going to be impressed with being forced further down the page, in favour of the local search results. Especially if you have invested a lot of time, effort and money in optimising your site, in order to achieve a page one organic listing!

Local companies are the outright winner

Clearly, local companies are the outright winner and the launch of Google Place Search is sure to put a smile on the face of many local businesses.

If you do not currently have a local Google Places page, then it is definitely time to get one! For those with a Google Places page, here are some important things to consider:

  • Include plenty of details on your Google Places profile page, as these will now assume much greater importance.
  • Encourage your customers to leave comments on your Google Places profile page, as these have now become more important than ever.
  • Reviews from your customers and other local directories such as Yelp will show up in your Google Place Search listing, therefore you should ensure that you create as many local business directory profiles as possible.
  • The number of positive reviews you receive will also influence your overall position in the local search results.

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Gold - WEB

Once a potential customer has found your website it is important that they are encouraged to stay on your site for as long as possible. It can sometimes be a challenge to persuade your visitors to take a second or third click, in order to explore your website further.

The most important factors that will encourage your visitors to stay longer on your site are as follows:

Make sure the keywords you are targeting match the actual content of each web page?

There is nothing worse than clicking on a website, only to find that the Keywords and Description displayed in the search engine results, do not match the web page content and the website has nothing to do with what you are looking for. If you do not ensure that your web page content is relevant to what your searchers are looking for, they will leave your site very quickly. Therefore your Title, Description and Keywords Meta Tags should be updated accordingly, to ensure that your search engine listings reflect an accurate description of your web site.

Do your web pages load fast enough?

The speed of which your web pages load is one of the ranking factors Google takes into consideration, when deciding your position in their search results. If your web pages take longer than 10 seconds to load, then it’s highly likely your visitors will become impatient and leave your site. Your visitors have a massive choice of thousands of sites that they could visit, if your site is slow to load they will not wait and will simply move on to the next site in the search engine results.

Position your most popular links and call to action buttons at the top of each web page.

It can be very frustrating for your visitors if they are unable to locate the information they are searching for very quickly. Therefore, it is important that your most popular links and call to action buttons are located towards the top of each web page and preferably towards the left of the screen. This will ensure that your most important information is displayed on most monitors, without the need for your visitors to scroll down the page.

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Getonfast Web Design SolutionsYour website’s navigation structure is an extremely important element of the search engine optimisation process. If your website’s navigation structure is poorly designed then Google and the other search engines will struggle to index all of your web pages.

The search engines use automated software to crawl your site and rely on the navigation links embedded in your code, to move from page to page.

There are two main elements to consider when designing your website’s navigation structure:

  • Your primary consideration should be to your website visitors. Your sites navigation structure needs to be designed in a simple format that will help your visitors locate the relevant content they are searching for quickly and easily.
  • The second most important consideration should be the search engines. Your website’s navigation structure needs to be made as search engine friendly as possible, to ensure that Google and all other search engines can crawl your site and find and index every page of content. This is a vital part of the search engine optimisation process.

It is possible to create a navigation structure that will satisfy both visitors and search engines by following these simple guidelines:

  • Choose text based links rather than image based links
  • Using simple text based links offers the most reliable, search engine optimisation method. In addition to being a structure that can be easily followed by search engine spiders, a text based navigation structure also provides an opportunity to include your most important keywords within your page content. The targeted keywords contained within your navigation links are important to all search engines and the keyword rich text used for each link can help other pages to rank well.

If coded correctly, search engines will still be able to crawl image based links, but you will lose the keyword targeting benefit that can be achieved using a text based navigation structure.

The position of your navigation structure is also important

Generally speaking, it is more effective to position your navigation structure either along the top or down the left hand side of your web page. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • This will keep your navigation links towards the top of your HTML code for each relevant web page, which is extremely search engine friendly.
  • This will also ensure that all your navigation links can be easily located by your visitors.
  • It is also important to maintain a standard location for your navigation links, across all pages of your website. If the position of your navigation links switch position on different pages, it will become very confusing and frustrating for your visitors.

Avoid using Javascript

Search engines find it difficult to understand Javascript code, which can result in crawling issues. The best option is to avoid a JavaScript based linking structure, as this will almost certainly result in search engines missing some of your web pages and being unable to perform a complete crawl of your website.

Finally, I would recommend uploading an XML Sitemap to your server, as this will help the search engines find and index all of your sites web pages.

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Getonfast Promotional Videos

The last few years has seen a major explosion in the use of online video marketing to promote a website. There is no doubt that adding video to your site will help to improve the user experience and ultimately your customer conversion rates. However a lot of website owners do not understand how to optimise their videos for maximum exposure.

Video search engine optimisation should be an important part of any Online Video Marketing Strategy and understanding how to harness the power of video search engine optimisation is a worthwhile investment of time, for any website owner.

Benefits of Video Search Engine Optimisation

The following top video search engine optimisation tips will help to improve your video marketing efforts:

1. Include relevant text on your website.

Search engines are unable to interpret the content of your video. Therefore it is important to ensure that when you embed a video on your webpage it is surrounded with relevant text containing your primary keywords or transcripts of the video.

2. Optimise your videos Meta Tags for relevant keywords.

As with most media, videos contain meta tag elements that allow you to optimise titles, descriptions and keywords. It is vital that these tags are created to target your primary keywords; this is easy to do when using 3rd party video hosting websites.

3. Add the word “Video” to your title.

As the majority of people tend to search for videos by adding “video” to their search query, it is important that this keyword is added to the title of your video and included in your Title Tag.

4. Submit your video to as many video hosting sites as possible.

Whether you host your own videos or not, you should consider submitting your videos to as many major video hosting sites as possible. Remember that YouTube is not the only game in town and your video will receive far greater exposure if it is syndicated to as many video hosting sites as possible. This will also help to improve the ranking results for your video on Google and the other search engines.

5. Optimise the file name of your video.

You should also optimise the filename for your video. Choose a file name that contains your primary keyword, but also try and keep it short and user friendly.

6. Make sure your video URL is included in your XML sitemap.

Google and other search engines will allow you to specify video URLs in XML sitemaps, as this helps them to index your videos. Visit Google’s Video Sitemap guide for further information.

7. Promote you video via your social media accounts such as Twitter or Facebook.

Once you have published your video on your website, or an external video hosting site, it is important that you make use of the various social media sites to promote your video. Promoting you video on Twitter, Facebook etc., with links back to your site, will help spread the word to a much larger audience.

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